Swiatek Says Nadal Inspired Her To Save Match Points In Epic Madrid Open Final

Swiatek Says Nadal Inspired Her To Save Match Points In Epic Madrid Open Final

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek admitted that Rafael Nadal inspired her during her match against Aryna Sabalenka at the 2024 Madrid Open, in which she saved match points.

Sabalenka and Swiatek played a tremendous match last year at the Madrid Open, which was assumed to be the pinnacle of modern-day women's tennis. Sabalenka won that one in three sets, but this year's final between them also took three sets and was likely an even better match.

It was another tremendous battle, better than last year's in many ways, especially since it had a pretty dramatic conclusion. Swiatek faced match points against Sbalenka but managed to save them.

Her inspiration for doing so was her tennis hero Nadal, to whom she looks up in many ways, especially the fighting spirit, as she revealed after winning the WTA 1000 trophy.

"Physically and tennis-wise, it didn't surprise me, but it did make me feel better mentally in the third set. I felt like I was trying hard for two hours and it wasn't working. Honestly, one of the things that came to mind is that Rafa had a couple of matches like that."

"The boys have three sets at least, so I guess they have more time for that to happen. I remember when he played against Medvedev in Australia and something clicked."

The match Swiatek referenced was the Australian Open final between Nadal and Daniil Medvedev, which the Russian controlled for the entirety of the first two and a half sets.

He was only a few games away from winning it, but the Spaniard was able to find something and win that third set. He would then win the fourth set as well and the final set to complete an incredible comeback to win his 21st Grand Slam trophy.

Swiatek wasn't in a similar hole in this match, but she was down a break early in the third set and managed to turn that around and win the match.


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